The Collaborative Market Data Network -
serving the Public interest of Transparency in Debt Capital Markets
The Collaborative Market Data Network
Serving Transparency in Capital Markets
The Collaborative
Market Data Network

Short-Term European Paper (STEP)

Short-Term European Paper (STEP) is a label that aims at fostering the integration of the European markets for short-term debt securities through the convergence of market standards and practices. The label can apply to commercial paper. certificates of deposit or other short-term debt securities issued by state and corporate treasuries, banks, with a minimum amount of EUR 100,000 and a maturity of up to one year.

Key Points about STEP

  • There is no obligation on an issuer to apply for a STEP label for their short term funding programme. As a result, not all issuers do. 
  • STEP securities are issued under programs that have received the STEP label from the STEP Market Committee, which ensures compliance with certain criteria related to disclosure, documentation format, settlement, and data provision for statistics.
  • The STEP label does not relate to the creditworthiness of issuers or the accuracy of information provided.
  • The European Central Bank (ECB) publishes daily aggregated data on outstanding amounts, new issues, yields, and spreads of STEP securities, broken down by factors like maturity, issuer sector, credit rating, and interest rate type (fixed/variable).
  • Despite the name, these statistics do not cover or give insight into the total European Short Term debt instrument market. They give insight into that part of the market that happens to have a STEP label.
  • STEP statistics aim to provide transparency and an overview of the short-term European paper market, based on data from securities settlement systems, central banks, issuers, and paying agents.
  • The STEP initiative is promoted by organizations like the ACI (The Financial Markets Association) and the European Banking Federation (FBE) to enhance market depth, liquidity, and diversification opportunities for issuers and investors in the European short-term debt market.